A forthcoming piece in History of Psychiatry may interest AHP readers: “Symonds on fear and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” by AD (Sandy) Macleod. Abstract:
Prominent English neurologist Sir Charles Symonds, during World War II service with the Royal Air Force, published a series of articles emphasizing the role of fear initiating psychological breakdown in combat airmen (termed Lack of Moral Fibre). Having served in a medical capacity in the previous war, Symonds re-presented the phylogenetic conceptualizations formed by his colleagues addressing ‘shell shock’. In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) re-classified Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), removing the diagnosis from the category of Anxiety Disorders. This was the view introduced a century ago by the trench doctors of World War I and affirmed by Symonds’ clinical experience and studies in World War II.